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Long Tall Sally acquires shoe website to bolster US foothold

Specialist womenswear retailer Long Tall Sally has acquired US footwear website Barefoot Tess, which specialises in larger sizes, as it looks to grow overseas.

Long Tall Sally, which now generates 62% of its sales from outside the UK, bought the website and its database of 45,000 customers for an undisclosed sum this week. Barefoot Tess stocks brands such as Jeffrey Campbell, Nine West, Havaianas and Blowfish.

Following the acquisition, footwear will account for a quarter of Long Tall Sally’s sales, up from 15% previously.

Andrew Shapin, chief executive of Long Tall Sally, said: “Most women with larger feet are tall, so it was a move to not only increase our own footwear offer, but also to obtain that database of shoppers who may also be interested in buying clothing.”

The US represents Long Tall Sally’s biggest overseas market, but Shapin admitted that it had struggled to break into the footwear market with its previous shoe offer.

“We had been following [Barefoot Tess] for some time, and it now gives us a hold in an area where we struggled before. Women with larger feet want to wear stylish shoes, so this allows us to tap into that market,” he added.

Barefoot Tess – which offers shoe sizes up to a UK size 13 – is now being integrated into Long Tall Sally’s website, and Shapin is hoping to bring its eponymous own brand to the UK at some point in the future.

Long Tall Sally, which was acquired by Amery Capital in 2005, has 11 stores in the UK, two stores in the US and seven shops in Canada, and will open its fourth German store in Munich at the end of May.

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